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“Worth the Extra Miles” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Portillo's

Portillo's
Ranked #1 of 123 Restaurants in Vernon Hills
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Groups, Kids, Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Highchairs Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Home to America's favorite Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, burgers, salads, and chocolate cake.
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
59 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Worth the Extra Miles”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

Anytime we are in the Chicago area, we make sure we get out Italian beef fix before heading home regardless how far out of our way it is. Plus they have crinkle fries.....our favorite. If you save room for dessert get a milkshake or try the chocolate cake. Phenom!!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sami_M1219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    75
    37
    8
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Palmer, Alaska
Level Contributor
69 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Better than I expected”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

My sister-in-law suggested Portillo's for some after shopping food. I wasn't so sure as I thought it was merely a hot dog joint. The looks of the restaurant from the outside made it clear that this wasn't just a place for hot dogs. This is neither a buffet nor a waited upon place. Rather you go up to a 'station', order your food, pay for it, and wait to pick it up. The choices are many and it all smelled so good. My sister-in-law suggested their famous chopped salad so I went with that while she ordered spaghetti and my son ordered a cheeseburger. While they waited for the food, I went and ordered a cold beer to go with my meal and found us a table to sit at. Seating is cafeteria style with many different sized tables to accommodate all sizes of parties. My salad was very tasty, but too much dressing for my liking. (It can be served on the side) The spaghetti and burger looked good and the others were happy with their meals. The portions are large so we all had some to bring home. The place was very clean, a bit loud, and a little chaotic. (kids running around) I will definitely go back to try an Italian beef! The chocolate cake milkshake is a must try!!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank akbecky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
68 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The quintessential Chicago dog.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013 via mobile

So after 10 or so trips to Chicago and being disappointed with every place that advertised a "Chicago Dog", I found Portillo's. I was stay off of Lake-Cook road so it was a few miles up the tollway and a bit west but it was worth it. We ate in the first time and I went through the drive thru this weekend. First, this is the most efficient drive thru ever. They have 3-5 people working outside and they take your order in person, you don't yell at a microphone in a sign. They clarify and suggest changes (upsell) but I found it helpful. The dogs are very reasonably priced and are exactly what I think a Chicago dog should be like. Packed with the pickle, tomato, onion,hot peppers but still eatable in a car without looking like a Chicago dog. I don't like crinkle cut fries because they are often soggy but these were crisp and hot and perfectly salted. And with no less than 15 cars in front of me, I thought it'd be 20 min but I was in and out in less than 5 min. This is on my go-to list every time I come back to this awesome city.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Thomas67_75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great food and drinks”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013

Portillo's is one of my favorite stand-by places to grab a meal. You have so many choices, and all of them are delicious and reasonably priced. Plus the portion sizes never leave you hungry after you have eaten the way some places do. The Chicago-style hot dogs are the best. The salads are good-sized and tasty. The sandwiches are all delicious and good-sized. The Barnelli's menu also offers several pasta options.

My most recent experience with this place involved ordering for a lunch meeting for seven people. Portillo's/Barnelli's doesn't deliver, but we were able to place the order ahead of time, so everything was ready for us when we arrived for pickup. Our order included the chicken and pecan salad (which comes with a very good honey mustard dressing), the garbage salad, the Asian chicken wonton salad, the chicken Caprese panini, the meatball sandwich, the grilled filet of chicken sandwich, and the Italian beef. The salads all came with a chunk of French bread. We also had two smoothies--one mango and one strawberry. All of the food was excellent, and the total bill was in the $60 range. The only complaint that anyone had was that the meatball sandwich was a little cold, but that could have been related to the time that it took for us to get it back to the meeting room from the restaurant as opposed to anything that Portillo's did wrong. We definitely plan to order food for meetings from Portillo's again.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank DJ3423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, FL
Level Contributor
232 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Italian Beef so good we came back the next day for another!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2013

The only odd thing as you enter is figuring out which line you need to be in and selecting something before you get to the front of the line. Take a good look at the menus of the two restaurants under one roof, something like some Yum Brand locations that might have a line for Arthur Treachers and another for KFC. The left line at Portillo's is primarily meant for the Italian Beef, Italian sausage, burger and Hot Dogs. The right side line is Barnelli's with a large selection of primarily Italian selections not offered in the left line. Regardless of your choice, the food here is some of the best of its kind in Chicago, particularly the Italian Beef and Chicago Hot Dog. I had the Italian Beef both times, but I super-sized to the HUGE Big Beef the second day. The roll was perfect and the beef was so loaded with juice that you need to lean in to avoid wearing the sandwich. I always get the roasted bell peppers AND the hot peppers. My wife got the Italian Beef the first time and the $4.09 Italian sausage with bell peppers the second day. She enjoyed her sausage as much as the beef sandwich. The regular size $4.99 Italian Beef is hefty and I am guessing at 12 oz for the $6.99 Big Beef. The only negative is that one of our party got chewed out by the person taking the order due to taking time to make a choice. I strongly recommend you make your choice from an online menu before your first trip.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank fastman83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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